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Lee Saalfeld | Knowing Him in Cuba, Ecuador, & Colombia

Lee Saalfeld is being used by God in Cuba, Ecuador, & Colombia. Today he shares about how to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit when you face dangerous and challenging situations.

About Lee Saalfeld: Following high school, Lee joined the U.S. Navy. After three tours in Vietnam as a Hospital Corpsman, he returned to the U.S. to continue his service in the naval reserves. He retired after 28 years, as a Senior Chief Petty Officer. Lee graduated from the University of Nebraska–‐Lincoln in 1975 with a B.S. degree in pre–‐medical studies. After serving many years in hospital administration, he founded an insurance/retirement planning business, retiring (again) in 2011. They both dedicated their lives to Jesus Christ in August, 1997, and completed their Bible school training in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Lauren and Lee were ordained in 2005, then founded Knowing Him Ministry, a 501(c)(3) not–‐for–‐profit corporation. This is a project–‐driven ministry with over 95% of donations being used directly for ministry projects. They have ministered many times in Cuba, Mexico, Colombia, Panama, the San Blas Islands, Honduras and the United States. The KHM International headquarters has been relocated to Branson West from Cuenca, Ecuador. Lauren’s ministerial focus is on teaching, evangelizing and sharing God’s healing love. She received a Bachelor of Ministry Degree in Christian counseling, completed her Masters in Christian counseling and is currently finishing her doctoral degree thesis in The same.  She has been equipping believers through pastoring, counseling and missions for over a decade. Lee and Lauren served as the Senior Pastors of Misión Palabra de Vida Church in Cuenca. Lauren served as the past president of the national organization for the churches. They are serving as National Directors, Ecuador for the International Convention of Faith Ministries, and assisting at the international level, as well. From 2011 through 2016 Lee’s ministry focus was in the Amazon jungle region of E. Ecuador, making more than 100 trips to the area and planting two new churches there. They started 7 Bible schools in Ecuador. Their passion is to encourage and train pastors, teachers and making disciples for the equipping of the Body of Christ throughout South America and the United States. Lee and Lauren are currently serving on staff at Lakewood Church in Branson West, Mo. Lauren is a licensed Pastoral counselor, teacher and missionary. Lee serves in evangelism and is also a missionary. They reside in the Branson area.


Evangelism Coach Daniel King (00:00):
Lee Saalfeld is being used by God in Cuba, Ecuador and Columbia. Today he shares about how to follow the leading of the holy spirit when you face dangerous in challenging situations,

The Evangelism Podcast Host (00:24):
Welcome to the evangelism podcast with Dr. Daniel King, where Daniel interviews, full-time evangelists, pastors, missionaries, and normal everyday Christians to discover how they share their faith, their powerful testimonies, and amazing stories that will inspire you to reach people with the good news. And now here’s your host, missionary and evangelist Daniel King.

Evangelism Coach Daniel King (00:49):
Welcome to the evangelism podcast. I’m Daniel King, and I’m excited about telling people about Jesus today. I have a very special guest with me, Lee Feld Feld. Thank you for joining me today.

Missionary Lee Saalfeld (01:02):
It’s a pleasure brother Dan, I, I just after going to Cuba with you, I’m looking so much forward to doing this interview with you.

Evangelism Coach Daniel King (01:10):
You have been a missionary for many years. You’ve been working in Ecuador, in Cuba and Columbia recently, how did you originally become a missionary?

Missionary Lee Saalfeld (01:21):
Well, we were when my wife and I accepted Jesus in 1997, August 3rd, actually in Branson air or Branson west, Missouri. And the pastor there would always bring in these guest speakers and the late Jim Zekel came to the church several times and he spoke about missionaries and my wife and I looked at each other after the second visit and said, that’s us, we’re missionaries. That’s what our calling is.

Evangelism Coach Daniel King (01:48):
And then what steps did you take in order to actually go to the mission field?

Missionary Lee Saalfeld (01:53):
Well like I said, we got born again in 1997, in 1999. The Lord spoke to me very clearly and said, I am sending you to the Spanish speaking countries. And I said, Lord, I don’t speak Spanish. And he says, I didn’t say you speak Spanish. I said, I’m sending you to the Spanish speaking countries. And so I have done now, including my numerous trips to the jungle in Ecuador, I’ve done 173 give or take mission trips all to Spanish speaking countries.

Evangelism Coach Daniel King (02:22):
Wow. That’s amazing. And for quite a few years, you were down in Ecuador and working even out in the jungles with some of the, the people out there. Tell me a little bit, what was Ecuador like?

Missionary Lee Saalfeld (02:34):
Well in a, in a, in a phrase Ecuador living there for seven and a half years was like living in the United States in the 1950s. That’s what it reminded me of how we got there. We had several people prophesy that we would go there in, in 2010 and before we really had a dream and a vision that we would be living and going as missionaries permanently in Columbia. So when Ecuador came up, it was we knew it was neighboring to Columbia, but we didn’t know much about it, but the city was actually named to us where we would be. And so we sold our house, we sold our cars, we sold everything, gave our furniture away. And with two cases in a backpack, we, we went to Ecuador in obedience to what the Lord was telling us to do.

Evangelism Coach Daniel King (03:19):
Now you’re actually writing a book about an experience that you had in Ecuador. And you came to me about a year and a half ago, maybe two years ago. And you just showed me an outline of the book that God had placed in your heart. And then just a, a couple of nights ago, you gave me a flash drive and said, Daniel, now the book is written. And so I was able to encourage you a little bit with the, the writing and, and talk to me a little bit about that process of of writing the book and, and

Missionary Lee Saalfeld (03:53):
Well it was actually, I believe it was three years ago that you and I went to Cuba together and spent about two and a half weeks there, I believe. And as I recall, and before I went to Cuba, I had, I had been in Columbia and came back to United States and then met you. And we went into Cuba. And before I got to Cuba, the Lord says, when you return from Cuba, you will write the book that I have planted in you from the, my time in the jungle in Ecuador.

Evangelism Coach Daniel King (04:22):
All right. Just really briefly give me a short synopsis of the book. What happened? What’s the big event in the book?

Missionary Lee Saalfeld (04:29):
Well, the big event is a 23 hour period that took place on December 28th, 2015. When I had an accident in the jungle with my car. It was a van actually. And two people died and I was held responsible by the indigenous people and they took the law under their, under the indigenous law’s hands. And they, they put me on trial that night for the death of one of, one of the, one of the family members. And my judge and jury were six members of this Schwar group, the father daughter, two aunts. And I believe there was uncle and a brother and they were my jury and, and judge. And if they gave me thumbs down, I was dead. There was 150 men warriors there that were standing around with machete in one hand and a candle in the other, cuz there was no lights out there and there was a dead body laying there in the road and they were judging me whether I was responsible for this and the, if I, the thumbs would’ve been down those machetes would’ve cut me to ribbons.

Evangelism Coach Daniel King (05:37):
And so you listened to the holy spirit, the holy spirit helped you in that situation. And obviously you weren’t killed. You survived.

Missionary Lee Saalfeld (05:45):
Obviously I’m here. Aren’t I <laugh> in the flesh right here. Yes, it was when I was in the, in the police car and that truck actually was a little pickup. I had handcuffs on and, and I was, and the pastor who was with us from the United States said to me, he grabbed my arm before we got in the car and he said, Lee, two things. He said, one, you did nothing wrong. Cuz he was in the car when the accident happened. And he said, the number two is always pray in the spirit. And so that’s what I was doing is I was riding in the, in the police truck. And I was praying in the spirit. The policeman says, what are you doing? And I says, I’m praying. And he says, I don’t recognize that that’s not Spanish. That’s not English.

Missionary Lee Saalfeld (06:25):
And I says, I’m praying in the spirit. You probably do not understand it. And so as we stopped at the scene, as we returned to the scene, the policeman came, was coming around to get me outta the backseat. And I heard the holy spirit speak to me very clearly. He said, what do you need now? And so I said, I need Spanish now, better than I’ve ever spoken it. And I, I had no idea what the situation was involved. I didn’t know why I was being returned there. I didn’t know anything about that. And as he took me out of the car, I saw what was before me. And he grabbed me by the arm and said, speak to him, the six people, family members that were lined up there. And if I hadn’t been able to speak Spanish as clearly, and as well as I did for that next 10 minutes, I wouldn’t be sitting here.

Evangelism Coach Daniel King (07:17):
God has also opened up doors for you to go into the nation of Cuba. For, in some ways Cuba is a very closed nation, but at the same time, people are very hungry for God in the nation of Cuba. And so tell me a little bit about your most recent trip to Cuba and some of the doors that, that, that God is opening up

Missionary Lee Saalfeld (07:41):
There. Oh yes. We just returned from Cuba last month. My wife and I went down on direction of the holy spirit. He said now is the time go. And so we went in, we had our papers and everything in order within three weeks and we were in Cuba again. And it was a perfect timing. We did not have a religious visa this time. And we spoke we, we met a person who we had, or we met up with a person who had met earlier on an earlier trip. His he was a, a Bishop over a group of 84, 85 churches in Cuba. And so we stayed at his, his house and, and preached in his church. And we just had a, you know, a tremendous time with him when we bonded so closely with him.

Missionary Lee Saalfeld (08:26):
And he introduced us to some other people who were involved in a new movement in Cuba with the non-denominational or independent churches, it’s brand new. They’ve only been in existence for not very many years. I don’t know exactly, but not many they’re growing very quickly and they have a lot of people have joining them because they’re able to preach as the holy spirit directs them, not as man is directing them. And this is a whole new way of thinking in Cuba. And we joined up with a leader. We met the leader in, in, in, in invited by him to speak to his leaders. And we spoke on the holy spirit. The movement was incredible. Three different women came up in prophesied and said that we are part my wife and I are part of the movement of the, the, the revival that is breaking out in Cuba, starting in east of the island and, and moving westerly.

Missionary Lee Saalfeld (09:19):
And so we’re returning there again in November this time with a religious visa the doors were the trust and the confidence was really tremendous for us this time, because this was actually our 22nd visit to Cuba. And people don’t go back there that often <laugh> normally only most people go once or maybe twice, but we’ve been there over the last 20 20 years, 22 times. And we spoke only about the holy spirit. The people we spoke this time were primarily born again, full believers, and they were so hungry for the word of God, based on the teach, the, the teachings we, we shared with them on the holy spirit. We didn’t even preach how and why you should re baptize with the holy spirit. We just told ’em the benefits and the, and how wonderful it is. Quoted some scriptures like you know, that in like Romans 8, 26, you know, we talked to ’em about that a bit and several other scriptures.

Missionary Lee Saalfeld (10:15):
And, and, and I says, do you want, this? Is this what you’d like to have? And they’d say, yes, yes, they’d stand up and shout. And we didn’t even have to go through any processes. All I would say is there’s only three things required at this point. You have to be a believer and we’ve already had the alter call for salvation. 100% of you are eligible. Now, all you have to do is believe and receive it. And they were so hungry, I would say 80% time after time started speaking in tongues, clearly without any real instructions, just letting the holy spirit work through him. It was, it was so beautiful.

Evangelism Coach Daniel King (10:48):
We have a lot of people who listen to the evangelism podcast who are missionaries working on the mission field, and you’ve worked on the mission field for a long time. And you’ve faced dangerous situations, difficult situations, situations where there was lack situations where there were disputes among different believers. And so you’ve learned to listen very closely to the holy spirit and allow him to, to lead you and, and guide you in ministry. And, and so talk to someone who maybe is, is on the mission field a a about how to tap into the holy spirit wisdom that you need in order to stay on the mission field.

Missionary Lee Saalfeld (11:32):
Well, it’s important that we realize right up front that the holy spirit that lives in us and we’ve given the authority to guide us, is that you surrender to him. You know, I, I spent 28 years in the military and I understand obedience. And, and when he speaks or gives you that small, quiet, urging you obey and do what he says, that’s important. We first have to be obedient. We don’t question it. We know that it’s the right thing that we’re hearing, you know, and sometimes it’s, it’s a lot more direct depending on the situation, but most of the time, it’s that still quiet voice. And you say, well, how do you recognize him? It just feels like you’re hearing him in every cell in your body. It doesn’t, it’s not an audible normally sometimes at very seldom. It is, but it’s, it’s that at that ction we speak about, it’s just, this is right.

Missionary Lee Saalfeld (12:22):
It seems right in acts chapter 15, three times there, it says, he says, it seemed right. It seemed the holy spirit was doing this, and that’s the word I like about it. It seems right in Spanish. We were, we set it all the time down there, pot. It seems right. And that’s, that’s how it is. And you know, example that when it was a real, a real audible voice when I was in the jungle in Ecuador, it was it was in an area that there were no other missionaries. And, and we would go out to the, the far, far villages. We had to, we had to get to many of ’em by a river. That was nearly, I mean, it was, it was the bridge going across it. If you walked, it was nearly a quarter mile and it was very large river.

Missionary Lee Saalfeld (13:04):
And when it rained, the river was full, it was dangerous. There were rocks in there. It was rapids areas. And one time we were returning from a village and we were in these little dugout canoes, and, and we had all of our equipment in there. Our speakers, everything was with us. And I had two other missionaries with me. One was from Ecuador and the other was from the United States and we get in the boat and it starts raining and the water is coming down and falling in the boat. We couldn’t get it out and BA it out fast enough. And our boat was probably only an inch, inch and a half above the water. And, and, and, and they said, what do we do? What do we do? Do we throw the speakers overboard? Should we throw all the equipment? And I said, holy spirit, what do we do?

Missionary Lee Saalfeld (13:42):
What do we do? And right away, I heard very clearly pray in the spirit. That’s all he said, pray in the spirit. And so I said, don’t worry about it. Just start praying in the spirit. And all three of us did. And we, and the driver, just all of a sudden makes a turn and shoots across the river, gets over to the other side, the wide river. And we safely made it back. But it, it was, it was nothing we could do. We could keep bailing water, but we were gonna lose that race. We, we prayed in the spirit, we were obedient and that was what we were supposed to do. And he would get us safely there.

Evangelism Coach Daniel King (14:13):
Give me some more stories about times when the holy spirit spoke to you.

Missionary Lee Saalfeld (14:19):
Well, on this trip to Cuba we prepared and, and had all of our equipment together. And we, we take in about 60, 70 pounds of, of medical supplies antibiotics that, that they only read about. They never seen. And, and we, we got a very good source of them from, in, you know, from Tulsa and we, we get the medications. And and, and so we, what we do with those is we, we sponsor a children’s leukemia hospital. We work with them and, and, and get that to the hospital and it saves lives. But we, the praying for is probably more important. I, I believe so. And as we were getting ready, we, we get closer to the time. And I had said, holy spirit, what, what messages, what do you want me to talk about? And I kept hearing it’s okay, just be calm.

Missionary Lee Saalfeld (15:04):
I’ve got it under control. I just, that’s what I felt day after day after day. And I really didn’t as we went to Cuba, cuz once you get there, your activities in Columbia and other places, as you well know this as traveling internationally yourself, you don’t have time to prepare messages when you get there, you have to have it inside you or on paper before you get there. And so I just kept, you know, I had peace. He just says, it’s okay, I’ve got it under control. And we got in there on Thursday and Friday, the next day we took off and we went and stayed at the Bishop’s place. And we were gonna, and Sunday comes and since we didn’t have a religious visa and we were visiting, I just was calm about it. And 30 minutes before the service starts, he says, I’d like you to share today a message.

Missionary Lee Saalfeld (15:47):
And I, and I hadn’t prepared any messages yet. And he says, I I’ll, I’ll maybe 10 minutes. And then he comes back to me. He says, well, I’m only gonna speak a little bit. You take half the service. And then, so I quickly wrote out on a piece of paper. I says, holy spirit, give me the message. And I just made some quick notes. He, he just dropped it down on me and because he said he had it under control, gave me the message. And then when he gets up there ready to speak, he only, he only speaks 10 minutes and he gives me the service <laugh>. So if I hadn’t counted on the holy spirit in that situation, I mean, I, he gave me the correct message. We had a baptism with the spirit and everybody who was not speaking in tongues, it was virtually a hundred percent of everybody left and it was the right message. It was listening to the holy spirit

Evangelism Coach Daniel King (16:31):
Right now. We are at convention together, the international convention of faith ministries. Yeah, I CFM. And you are one of the, the international directors for them and, and helping to plant different chapters in different nations. And so you’ve brought a whole group from Columbia and from Chile and from other countries. Talk to me a little bit about the conferences that you’ve put together in Columbia and Ecuador. And for those listening, maybe share what I CFM is all about and, and why someone should be involved. Sure.

Missionary Lee Saalfeld (17:09):
This ICF M was formed in 1979 by pastor Kenneth Hagen and 16 other pastors that in met in Tulsa and said, we have discovered this faith message we’re preaching it. We’re put in intent ministries and many people are healing. They were going out from Tulsa to many areas and they said, what, what do we need to do as a group to take this message to the world? And now we are here. Now we’re here 43, 44 years later. I took that seriously what our forefathers said. And so as a missionary, I’m really honored to be a part of I C F M to be taking this message of faith to the nations. And so my wife and I oh, about three or four years ago, after serving as the national directors in Ecuador we moved back and to the United States. And so they asked me to be if I would be the international associate director. So I travel and do three, four missions trips a year, and I’m always preaching on faith. I do, I, you know, my message like yours is salvation baptism with the spirit and divine healing, you know, that’s keep it simple, keep it straight and, and and, and see the results as the holy spirit has got the open doors to,

Evangelism Coach Daniel King (18:22):
Let me just ask you a question on the mission field. Do people need faith?

Missionary Lee Saalfeld (18:27):
Oh, absolutely. As missionaries. Oh my goodness. I wouldn’t go without the holy spirit or with faith. And the two are like this it’s holy spirit faith. And so it fits together like a glove. It fits together like the holy spirit inside you. And

Evangelism Coach Daniel King (18:39):
How does the, the faith message impact the, the people that you’re ministering to in these different countries? Well,

Missionary Lee Saalfeld (18:46):
I, if, you know, you can preach on faith and, and, you know, it says in, in Romans eight, 17, no yeah. 10, 17, I’m sorry. <Laugh> 10, 17. It says faith comes by hearing. So we’re, we’re carriers of the faith message and, and, and we we’re job is to increase their level of faith so they can receive, and salvation is the greatest, greatest act of faith. We can, we can actually be a part of

Evangelism Coach Daniel King (19:13):
Amen. Well, the name of your ministry is knowing him. Yes. And if someone would be interested in having you and your, your dynamite wife, Lauren, come to their church and share some stories about missions how could they get in touch with you? Well,

Missionary Lee Saalfeld (19:30):
Our, our email address, the best way to reach us is L Feld icloud.com. That’s L S a a L F E L D, which is our last name, icloud.com. We will respond immediately to that. Right now our website is not up. So we are, we’re not operating through that. We have a phone number in, in Branson. You can call me at (417) 559-0959. And we’ll be glad to discuss anything with you on that. And and, and our, our PO box that we receive all our ministry mail is, is PO box 6, 4 58 in Branson, Missouri O at 6 5, 605. And so that’s our address, phone number and, and our email address.

Evangelism Coach Daniel King (20:19):
All right. I coach a lot of evangelists and help them out with different things. And so one thing I would like to say is you need a website, so you can cover all that just on, on one website, and then your, your, your book is coming out soon. And, and so people will be able to get your book and, and read stories about the, how God sets you free in one of the worst situations someone could be in.

Missionary Lee Saalfeld (20:44):
Yes, the book is entitled the, the machete and the cross. And thanks to you. We have the cover designed, it’s been written. I’m very, very pleased with that. And you’ve reviewed the book and I’m getting ready to send it to a publisher. So the holy spirit spoke to me about the book. Once again, after he directed me to have it written and thanks to you brother Daniel for coaching me through the early stages of it and how to set up everything, the way I, the way it was done properly. And, and I’m really honored for the nice words you said about the final version. The Lord spoke to me again, as I said, and he said to you will not sell this book. You will, you will take only offerings for the book. And every offering that comes in will go into the ministry into knowing him and making him known and be used for soul winning activities.

Evangelism Coach Daniel King (21:38):
Awesome. Well, I’m excited that I was able to be a part of, of helping to encourage you to, to write the book. Thank you. And thank you so much for being on the evangelism podcast. I, I really hope very soon to be able to go back to Cuba with you yes. To go to Columbia, to go to Ecuador. There’s so many different places that are hungry for more of God. And so I look forward to being with you somewhere on the mission field against it. So I add

Missionary Lee Saalfeld (22:02):
One more thing in Columbia in, in last year in October, pastor Nelson, Navarro from the church that he’s over the church Rayma and in Bogota, it’s a very large church. He has a missions team there that he’s in this in training 43 students in his church that are training to be missionaries. And so I’m really kind of a coach. When I go down there, I’m leaving in three weeks to spend six weeks down there, coaching these new students, taking ’em out in the field and teaching them about missions in the, in the wild, you know, in the rough areas, terrain some of ’em be jungles. Some of ’em be pretty, pretty tough areas. And while we’re doing this, we there’s this one village we go to it’s called Veta for 42 years. That village was under the control of the far, which is the communist regime in, in Columbia.

Missionary Lee Saalfeld (22:50):
And it’s a dangerous area. And I was the first person to return there from the United States in 42 years last year. And while I was there, I had this vision that this was an area that would be an excellent area for training and raising up missionaries. And it turned out that the pastor of the church, our Arsenio had the same vision and Nelson pastor Nelson also had the same vision. And so we had gotten together, we did a really, really good interview with pastor Arsenio and how he was in when he was in the park before and how the Lord changed his life. And so we we’ve determined that we’re going to build a missions training center there to bring international missionaries, primarily from the Spanish speaking countries of south and central America to this area, train them up and send them not only out to Columbia, but to the other back to their countries, other countries as the Lord sends them and, and directs ’em in their visions. So we’re, we’re, we’re working when I return. We’re gonna be looking at how we can put that together and make it work to build this international missions training center right out there in the near jungle areas.

Evangelism Coach Daniel King (23:54):
That’s awesome. Well, praise the Lord. That’s a wonderful vision, and I know it will have a big impact on south America. So brother Lee, thank you, God bless you.

Missionary Lee Saalfeld (24:04):
It is a pleasure. Thank you. Thank you for the opportunity.

Evangelism Coach Daniel King (24:06):
Thanks so much for listening today. I am excited about telling people about Jesus. And I want to invite you to be a part of helping us to rescue people from hell and take them with us to heaven. There’s two things you can do to help. First of all, can you go find the evangelism podcast on apple iTunes and leave us a positive review by giving a review, you will help other people find these valuable resources about sharing our faith. And second, would you become a financial partner with king ministries? Every single dollar that people give us enables us to lead at least one person to Jesus. And so that means for only $1, you can help start a party in heaven. And so today I want to invite you to become a monthly partner. You can start out for just a dollar, but if God puts it on your heart to do more, of course you can do more, but please go to king ministries.com and become a monthly partner with us today to help us to lead more people to Jesus. Thank you so much. And God bless you

The Evangelism Podcast Host (25:26):
For more information about how to share your faith or to financially support our worldwide evangelistic outreaches. Visit king ministries.com. Again, that’s king ministries.com.

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